Manuel Lanzini is poised to sign a new five-year deal at West Ham – and has declared that he now regards the club as his “home”.
The Argentina forward, called up by his country this week for their games against Chile and Mexico next month, is now poised to sign a deal which will keep him at the club until 2024 – with an option for a further year.
The 26-year-old’s current contract runs out at the end of this season, and West Ham did have an option for another two years – but Lanzini wanted better terms, and this week there was a breakthrough in negotiations.
The skilful forward, who has been in good form this season, said: “We are talking with the club about staying and of course I want to stay.
“It is like my home. It is my fifth season now, I love the fans, the fans love me and the club is amazing.”
Lanzini suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury last summer which ruled him out of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and left him on the sidelines for eight months.
West Ham held off from negotiating a new deal until they were sure he had fully recovered.
Lanzini, whose side, without a win so far, face struggling Watford at Vicarage Road on Saturday, said: “When I was injured, it was really hard, it was a bad time. It was before my first World Cup and I wanted to play.
“It was difficult, but I want to say thank you to my family, my girlfriend, my son and all the people that stayed with me.
“It’s difficult because you can’t help the team. I spoke everyday with Manuel Pellegrini and he understands me and I understand him. Since I started to play again, I believe I have done really well.
“We hope to stay near the top six and try to get into the Europa League, that is the most important thing for us.
“I want to take this club to the top level. With Manuel and the project we need to stay at the top but for this we need to work hard. He is a good coach. You can talk with him.”
Manuel Pellegrini said: “Of course I want him to stay. Manu is a young player, involved and committed to this club. He is happy here. I hope he will stay here for many more years.”
The Hammers manager could have skipper Mark Noble back after missing the opening games with a calf problem, as well as record signing Sebastian Haller and forward Felipe Anderson.